Even though I can handle heat and thirst pretty well, I have a problem with summer. It's not about me, it's about my hardware. Last August I lost a hard drive only 9 months old, probably due to this reason, since my room temperature was between 27 and 30 degrees Celsius for over one month and the computer ran non-stop.
When hard drives have to go through periods like that mentioned above, their performance and health parameters change to reflect their current condition. A monitoring program can be extremely useful to inform the user when to expect a crash and take adequate measures in time (backup the data and sell the drive, for example...).
These being said, let's move on to the topic. Today's hard drive monitoring application is called HDDlife Pro, it's close to version 3.0 and I ran it in a 14 day trial mode. HDDlife was a free program in the past, and now you can run it as the Pro version and after the trial period expires it switches automatically to freeware mode. The differences between these two versions are minor and are not my concern now.
First, you have to download the 4MB installation kit, then install it and fire it up. The program's interface is easy to use and contains all the information you need in its main window. If you have more than one drive installed on your computer, you will find their info available in separate tabs.
What info can we get about our hard drives using HDDlife Pro?
First of all, in the upper area of the main window you can see the model and size of your hard drive. Below it, you can check the current drive temperature and total work time. The drive temperature is not displayed in real time, but using the sensor polling interval that you can set in the Options area (the default one is 5 minutes).
The health status and performance of the hard drive are displayed using two percentage bars, and the 100% values are considered to be the ones of a brand new drive. Unfortunately, there is no hint about how these values
are calculated, since you can't check individual SMART parameters, so all you can do is trust HDDlife Pro.
In the main window you can also find a conclusion about the state of your disc and in the last cell there is a chart showing information about the use of the disk – the green color represents free space, while the red color stands for the occupied space.
The Options of the program are rich and can help you control its behavior in detail.
You can make HDDlife start with Windows, change the drive polling interval (there are three items to be checked – health, temperature and occupied space).
Warnings can be sent via the network or by email. This program can also play a sound or turn off your computer when one of your drives has "health problems".
One last feature that I will tell you about is the ability to use skins for the drive icons displayed using the AnywhereView technology (you can check the free space on a drive from any application).